Friday, February 26, 2010

Budget Cuts

The legislature may be meeting at the capitol to discuss budget cuts, but here is what we do in the Bywater family....we just cut them. Seen here in this photo is our recent cuts to our clothing budget, and our car allowance budget.

We should be politicians.....
By the way, I would like to add that Scott fits in nicely with my family. Especially in this photo.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WARNING - Big Rant....HUGE Rant

It was a big day today...I mean that literally. I went to the mall for some new jeans, and as much as you might think otherwise, the mall is not a hang out for me, or a place I run when I need new clothing. So, things were going well, until I broke a rule I made a long time ago. I walked into a store that shall remain nameless (the rule that was broken was my personal rule not to go in the store...too expensive...among a few other you will see) to check out their selection of jeans and see if I could find something without rhinestones on the butt. So, I spoke to a sales person, and I pick out some jeans that are minus said rhinestones (believe me it was like looking for a needle in a haystack) and I am off to the dressing room. I picked up my exact sizes, and the size large and the size smaller, and begun the process of trying them on. Getting new jeans is my least favorite thing to do because at that moment in time I feel my fattest self.

People, I tried four pairs of jeans on and none, that were my normal size would even button up. So, I am thinking to myself "Self, when you woke up this morning I KNEW you were ten pounds heavier!" "What's the deal here?!?"
So, I walk out of the dressing room mad and without jeans. My sales person is of course waiting like a hawk by the dressing room door says "Hey, were you not happy with any of those" Me: "No" (and I am thinking, Nope, because I have a butt, hips, and shock.....thighs!)
This sales person then proceeds to tell me how this store is set up (no, these are not her real words, but if she would have spoken in lamen terms this is what you would have heard) "Let me tell you that you might want to look on these two tables at the back, our store is set up so that the skinny people's clothing is at the front, the people in the middle are in the middle, and then the fat ones are at the back" Needless to say I looked at her with I am sure a GLAMOROUS smile and walked out, and down the way to the fat store.

May I just say here that I adore my body, yes, I have those same ups and downs when I don't feel beautiful, or thin. I am a women after all. However, in my head I am who I am, and I love who I am. I don't need to be anyone different! If I had smaller thighs I would look ridiculous! What are we teaching the future women of this world then! That they are not good enough, that "you should try this shirt on, this is the hottest look of the season, it slims your waistline" (that was said by another VERY helpful sales person to me today) Wow! Someone help us! We need more liposuction and botox. Gone are the days where we teach that young women should have hearts of gold, and who can complete themselves, instead we let a shirt do that.

Okay....I am done....

"The mind is everything; what you think, you become" -Gautama Buddah

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jena Lynnie Bernice Matlida Bolander Jones

My sister turned 26 on Wednesday. I know....gasp.....that is old!!!
Being Jena's sister is a whirlwind...if I do say so myself. She has always been a whirlwind, a cross between Audry Hepburn, and the Tasmanian Devil (really, she would tell you that herself.) She is very refined and loves life, but can be very unreasonable and bossy 2 seconds later. I love it.
Jena and I had a tense little relationship growing up, we were always yelling at each other, and then one day we were best friends. I love my sister and truly believe that she would do anything for me or my family. Here are 26 (yes it was hard to come up with that many :) ) reasons I love my sister
1. She committed to the institution of being a mother before me, and Miss Aniston is really the twinkle in her eyes.

2. She went away from our family, and our way of life for a while. Let me explain that I have never had the kind of determination that my sister has, and so I honor her decision, and I am grateful for the experience to be her confidant during those difficult hours where she had to face the consequences of the choices she made. She did so with the utmost of grace might I add.

3. She loves me...even though I act like my mother

4. She taught me to sew

5. She taught me to swear...nicely

6. She loves me even though I am not as mature as she is :)

7. She was the girl in the family...I was content to be a tom boy

8. She is a nurse

9. She can birth babies, and assists lots of doctors and mommies

10. She has a wonderful heart

11. She is very loyal to her family

12. She is hot headed

13. She has great style

14. She is my best friend

15. She puts up with mine and my mothers emotions (For instance we usually can't sit through a movie without crying)

16. She helped my grandmother for many years as she got older

17. She loves babies, and still does. She put all of her baby dolls to bed every night until she was twelve, and she still does that in the nursery at Alta View hospital.

18. She loves her family

19. She understands people on a different level, and is not judgmental.

20. She Loves Aniston

21. She loves Chris

22. She makes the best of every situation.

23. She is always looking and working toward better things for her family

24. She can argue like a politician

25. She is always grateful

26. I love ya Jena!

Final Day- (Tear)

Today we begun the trek home. Although we didn't want to we had too....bummer. We actually had a tree bloom by our house in honor of us. (okay so not really, but I'd like to think so) Here is a photo of the blossoms up close.
And here is one final goodbye from Costa Rica photo.
We really only had one icident on the way home...I'll be honest, we weren't sure where we were going, like I said, lots of dirt roads and no street signs. There was one point where we missed a turn and ended up on a dirt road in the middle of the jungle...Scott: "Does this look familiar to anybody?" Us: "Nope" Scott: "Will someone please look at the map and tell me where we are going!?!!" Colleen: "Honey, we don't really know what we are looking at..." Did I mention how much I love my mother in law. She has the power to totally diffuse a difficult situation that might result in fighting. I hope I can be like her when I grow up.

We had a fantastic time, and hope to return to Costa Rica some day. Thank you Matt and Kellie! We love you both!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Relaxing and the Beach- Day 5

This trip went by sooo fast. On day 5 it really set in that we were going to have to go home tomorrow, and I didn't want to! We spent the day at the beach, and though it was overcast it was still hot and wonderful. Check out the sailboat in the photo behind Scott...I wanted on that.
Here is a photo of both of us...How my mother in law timed this I am not quite sure, but it was great.
Here is a photo of our neighbor, the black iguana. He was out regularly sunning himself.
And then that night we went to a lovely Valentines dinner at a great restaurant that overlooked one of the bays. It was beautiful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 4- Black Sand Beaches

So after the zip line we headed back to the house for some rest and relaxation. We also had planned to go that evening to the black sand beach to see if we could spot any turtles. We were in Costa Rica during the new moon, and that is when the turtles come on shore and lay their eggs, and then the following full moon is when they hatch I believe. We didn't find any turtles, but we did find the remains of the eggs that had hatched.
Check out Scott's tourist legs in this pic...they were red, red, red! He is standing by one of the indentations in the sand where the turtle eggs were.
This was my little friend Harry. He popped out of his hole on the beach long enough to let me snap a photo of him. Side Note: Yes, Scott was trying to catch a crab...I am not really sure what he planned to do with it once he caught it, but what do you do...I knew where the hospital was.
We had a great time walking up and down the shore . We found all sorts of stuff, and the black sand was amazing!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zip Line- Day 4

Wow, check out that sunset! Seriously, every night/morning was just fabulous!
Okay, so today Scott and I scheduled a zip line tour. Now...let me tell you that I have never been one for heights. I was worse when I was younger, but as I have grown up I can actually stomach things and find beauty. So Scott and I arrived at the "Miss Sky" tour in Nosara at 8:00 a.m. sharp that morning. We were decked out in harnesses and helmets (to ward off the monkey's) and given a few instructions. Here we are happy to be in cute helmets...
So, then we were hurded into a cattle truck by a bunch of local boys and driven up a mountain. Here is a photo of the view when we stopped.
So, the anxiety was still held at bay, it was a beautiful trip. We then saw the first station, and really in this photo I am surprised you can't see my heart beating. It was...LOUDLY.
So, to explain said zip line, there was 6 miles of cables, that stretched over the top of the jungle. you went from station to station, your harness was hooked up to a things with wheels (the name has escaped my tiny mind)...see exhibit a
You then sat in your harness in the best aerodynamic position possible... see exhibit b
And then off you went....see exhibit c
Then, in you came to the next point...Here is some great footage that one of the guides helped us film. I believe he was supposed to catch up to me and scare me, but that didn't happen, I was too fast.
All of the guides and my husband were teasing me because I was a scardy cat and didn't speak any Spanish... so it was pick on Shelbi day.

We also went on a hike in the jungle and were shown some pretty cool fire ants, a cool plant that when you touched it's leaves they would come together to trap water, and bugs. And we got to see this cool waterfall. However, it was the dry season (as you can tell from the photo) so there wasn't much water there. We did have a slight wildlife scare...Here is another video. My parting line is great.

The guide jumped out of the bushes with a gorilla mask on. It was say the least. And I truly almost wet my pants.

The zip line was a fantastic experience! Scott and I were so glad that we went! More later! I think this post is already lots! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 3

I need to come up with some more exciting titles. :) I will work on that.
So the wedding day. We, well, we were calm, Matt and Kellie seemed a bit crazed, so we spent the day doing errands with them and our trusty translator that came with me exercised his services in making sure we had a lawyer to marry the happy couple.
So, the day began with a trip to the Super Nosara Market. Can I just say here that Scott was like a kid in a candy store every time we went to the store or the fruit truck came to the hotel.
Scott: "OHHH!"(he says something in Spanish to the guy that weighed your fruit in the market) and then comes away with this big block of something or other that is dark brown.
Shelbi: "Scott, what is that...that is huge...are you sure that we can eat it all before we go home?"
Scott: "Don't ask questions" (typical response) "You'll love it I promise, we used to have it all the time on my mission"
Might I add how funny I am sure we looked?!? Scott is a TOWER! So there was no possible way to loose him anywhere! He looked so out of place, and I am sure that is the way it was on his mission as well. Imagine this please, short me, following around this crazed white boy who speaks Spanish and has eyes that are glazed over, I am carrying two bottles of water, a supermarket basket full of stuff, and trying to keep up with my tower of a husband (I will admit that I was a little uncomfortable if I was left by myself, if someone came up to me my plan was to play that was hard)

Anywho, we got things accomplished and then we relaxed for a bit at the house.
Great pic of the boys. From left to right: Scott, Dave , and Matt

We also had a mission today, other then seeing Matt and Kellie married, we were in charge of the coconuts. Let me explain... Matt and Kellie have a tradition on the 12th of February every year they drink from coconuts. When they met three years ago they did it, and then when they got engaged last year, and then married this year. SO, we had a bag full of coconuts, and we had to figure out the logistics to drink the coconuts after the wedding that night on the beach. So Scott went to our hotel owner to ask if he had something we could take to open to coconuts on the beach. Gale (hotel owner): "I have a machete (sp??) ...but too many fingers get cut off with those things, so I won't give it to you." Can I tell you I almost hugged this man! (by the way....because of who I married it is my job to take note of where the hospital is in the areas we go's a nasty job, but someone's got to do it.) So we found a kitchen knife in the house....

and voila...we had coconut juice.
Here are some great photo's from the wedding. It was a beautiful sunset, and really could not have been a better day.

The happy couple, and the lawyer from Norsara.

The handsome and dashing ring bearer.
The coconut group with the happy couple. We finished the night off with a delicious meal at Rancho Tico. Again, just down the road passed the five streets and the grocery store. :)
The Happy Couple...
Congrats Matt and Kellie!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 2

Well, let me just say that sleeping in the jungle is not so easy, you love the sun and the heat, that works, but you wake up before the sunrise, AND you wake up to the smallest of birds making the LOUDEST of racket. It's great.

So today we had a boat tour scheduled. We were touring the two rivers in Norsara, the Rio Montana, and the Rio Nosara. So we tourist stumbbled down to the waters edge by 6:00 a.m. and yes we actually did find it.
Here are some photo's....

Our Guide...a lovely German man that was quite funny....
A tiger crab- held in my mother in law's face. I was worried a few times that she might go overboard. :)
One of the beautiful birds that was sunning itself and drying its feathers that morning
More birds
And then....we found these guys.....Can you see them??

This is the biggest Crocodile that we found, he was about 4 feet according to our guide, but we did see the den of a massive crocodile not to far from where we were...not my cup of tea, I'll tell ya. And apparently the locals swim in this river??!!?? That is beyond me. They were great far away and even better that they were so small! The boat tour was great, and it was nice to have someone point things out to us too!

So we also went to Costa Rica for a wedding. Matt and Kellie were going to be married on the beach the next day, so we went back to the hotel and hooked up with them to go stake out a place on the beach. Here we are ready to go!
While we were searching for a great place we found some food. So, let me say that I have never eaten more seafood in my life then I did on this vacation. My taste has changed as I have gotten older and deeper into the Bywater family, (if it hadn't changed I would have starved on multiple occasions) so I will admit that I have developed a love for seafood. These surprises that Scott and Matt ordered actually did taste pretty good.

That is right, here we have a whole fish, head, eyeballs,tail, fins and all. I am not very experienced when it comes to seafood, so I may have some laughing readers at my description, but I am pretty sure my jaw dropped when they brought these out.

Matt's fish

Scott's Fish
Funny conversation: Matt: "Scott, I dare you to eat the eyeball." Scott :(this is a classic Scott response by the way) " Okay, what will you give me if I do?" Matt: "The honor of having eaten a fishes eyeball" (Matt has obviously heard Scott's response before) Scott: "Hmm...."
Then there was silence as he poked out the fried eyeball and ate it. There was something in there too about "do I have to chew it or can I just swallow it." These brothers make me smile.

We had a dinner that night, with Kellie's family who had all come for the wedding as well, in honor of Matt and Kellie, and to get to know each other. We ate at this great restaurant called La Luna on the beach. It was beautiful.

The happy couple....

Here is a photo of Scott and I at sunset. It was amazing!

Okay, I am totally laughing, and have to say something about the hair. When you have Bolander hair (bone straight, no curl), and you take that and add humidity, you get frizz. Colleen and I were both laughing as we walked out the door because we were both frizzed, and there was nothing we could do about it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 1

This photo taken by my wonderful mother in law and was at first a funny joke, but I think it sums up day one nicely, and come to find out none of us really remembered how to get all seven bags back in our "4X4" (imagine that!) So thank you Colleen!
Yes sir, that is seven in between Colleen and I on the back seat. And yes, I don't think that we have any Diatsu's in America, but hey, the guys at the rental place were going to give the car to someone else, and because Scott was a stickler and wouldn't let them we didn't get an even smaller car. Which turned out to be the best part of the trip because Colleen and I would have had to ride on the roof of the car (that wouldn't have looked odd to any of the locals by the way.)

Enough about the car, so we set off from the airport in Liberia, Costa Rica on our way to Nosara. Amazingly we did pretty well for not knowing where we were going. This country does not have road signs, and we only knew we were turning onto a dirt road. So yes, as we got closer we turned onto a dirt road, which was really more like a 4 wheeler trail.
The other thing that was a bit funny as we traveled by car, is that you would come to a bridge over a river and there would be sign that would say "bridge in bad condition" (in Spanish of course) (luckily we had a Spanish translator from the states-I slept with him, he was expensive) and then usually there was a hole in said bridge...or a large ditch. Truthfully it was very exciting and really interesting. I am sure we looked like a bunch of tourists, and occasionally there would be a few skinny cows, melon fields, broken down semi's, a family of four on a motorcycle, or a dead iguana.
Funny conversation about the iguana's; Scott: "There is a dead iguana on the side of the road" (this was like the forth time he had said this) Colleen: "Scott, could you say that a little sooner so that I can see it" Scott: "Yes, I'll try mom" (okay, I thought it was hysterical)

So we drove into Nosara, and arrived at our little house. In this photo is the view we saw from our balcony. Side note: our hotel was called Lodge de Vista Del Mar (House with view of the sea)
It was breathtaking. And we got there just in time to see the sunset. Here is another photo of the yard, our house is to the right and the larger hotel is down the hill inside the gate.
So, we arrived, and I think Scott and I could have eaten a horse, we had been flying all day, we hadn't come upon a McDonalds (there was a Burger King however in the city of Nicoya), AND the mere fact that Scott had not had a come apart because he hadn't eaten was a miracle. Okay, and I had a migrane from lack of food and heat, so we got directions to a great restaurant.
The directions went like this. "Go back to my sign, turn right, go to where five of the roads come together, and then take your hard left, then you will see the restaurant up the road on your left." No numbers friends, and no street names. (surprisingly, we got used to that) "Remain Flexible" was my mantra at that point. Here is us at dinner...aren't we a cute bunch?
At one point that night Colleen went to go take a drink and felt something on her hand. She quickly flicked her hand and I in turn felt something smack into my arm and then fall onto the ground. Well, it was a cute pink gecko, AND it was even cuter because it was on the ground.

Costa Rica....In parts and pieces

Well, I am back again. Don't worry no more rants! I went on vacation, so now I am good!
We just got back from Nosara, Costa Rica, and let me tell you....not only do I have a new love
for dry air, I have a new sister in law! Lucky huh!?!

Anyway, I am going to catalog the events in days, hopefully you can follow, because honestly this is going to take a while....and probably have to be put into several different posts. So, grab your popcorn and're gonna need it!